Chris Dawson


Chris Dawson

I'm a student (study French and German) and this Summer I'll be going to Beijing to try and learn some Mandarin!

On Sunday we went to eat at a Japanese place, and on Monday we somehow managed to stay out late again in the pleasant setting of Hohai park. It was a long way from where we all lived, but worth the trip- it consisted of a large lake laid out in a figure of 8 surrounded by bars and restaurants whose lights lit up after dark and glimmered out across the water. On the way back from the park we discovered a gigantic screen had been set up on the square near where we lived, upon which was being projected some pictures of London and various Chinese olympic stars (of which this year there have been many). Seeing foreigners taking such a keen interest one of the women running it bounded over and explained. Apparently it ... read more

Well, as the title indicates, this week I ate a Scorpion. After school, looking for something to do, me and some classmates set off on the metro to Wanfujin, where we found between the Starbucks and the shopping malls a mass of picturesque alleyways, lined with stalls selling all kinds of exotic food. And by exotic, I mean exotic. Starfish, sea horses and beetles. Probably somewhere there was the little Mermaid, but we didn’t see her. And like I say, Scorpions. Little ones, the size of a ten pence coin. We bought a skewer of three and had one each. They had been dipped in batter and tasted like Cumin. This week again has been non-stop. Practically every evening somebody I know from the school has come up with some kind of activity. On Tuesday ... read more

There is no way around this. I was nervous on the flight. The food seemed to taste like cardboard in my mouth (though in all fairness most airline food does anyway), and I couldn't sleep. Though again in all fairness, I can't do that anyway either. So to distract myself I put on some podcasts about Chinese history. On the onscreen map the plane hurtled across Central Asia. Finally in the mid morning the plane landed, diving through what looked like a layer of thick cloud and touching down in Beijing Airport. The imagined hastle of getting through customs turned out to be effortless, and soon I found myself walking out through the Arrivals gate with my bags and £100 of changed RMB in my pockets, feeling ready to see what the city had in store ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Buckinghamshire » Marlow July 19th 2012

Before you start reading, I should point out that this is the first time I have ever written a blog. However since facebook is not an option where I am going, and I need to upload my pictures somehow, I have started now. I may stop doing this. I may keep going. I haven't decided yet. Just remember that if my entries suddenly stop coming, it does not mean I have fallen in to the Yongding river! Tomorrow I leave for Beijing for six weeks to learn Chinese Mandarin, and to be honest I don't think it's quite hit me yet. China is such an exotic, foreign place that it somehow seems so unlikely that I will actually be on my way there in under 24 hours. I have no idea what I will find there ... read more

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